If you spend more than a few hours a day on the internet, you’re probably already using a proxy. Proxies are great for unlocking geo-restricted TV shows and conducting essay research, but most of us don’t realize that that’s just a tiny part of what this technology can do.
For example, proxies can accelerate growth and revolutionize your business.
Shared and private proxies boast huge potential in business-related use cases.
Today, we’ll discuss a few most frequently cited fields of application for business proxies and how they can help your brand achieve and retain online success. Let’s start with the simple things – how proxies work and what are the main benefits of using this technology:
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There are many good ways to describe a proxy – a buffer, a shield, a filter, or a middleman. These and other similar analogies explain a proxy in less abstract terms – put simply, a proxy is what stands between you (your device) and the internet (the destinations you visit).
The proxy’s primary function is to conceal your IP address.
Every device has a unique IP address. It’s like a physical address that people can trace back to your device to reveal your identity. When your device sends a request to the destination site on the internet (when you click something online), a proxy makes sure your IP address is invisible.
Different proxies do this in slightly different ways, but the core principle is always the same – to conceal your identity, a proxy dedicates another IP address to your device. Some proxies are fabricated in data centers for this purpose; others are borrowed from real users’ devices.
Whether they’re shared or private, proxes have four main use cases:
- Anonymous browsing
- Improved security
- Bypassing restrictions
- Data scraping
Proxies allow you to browse anonymously by keeping your IP address hidden. Many people use them to protect their private data from website owners and to avoid being tracked with cookies. In practice, this means no personalized ads and location-based dynamic pricing.
Improved security is another major boon enabled by proxies. Along with hiding your IP address, proxies also encrypt your traffic. Whether you’re working with sensitive data or you simply want to keep your private information secure from hackers, a proxy can help you.
Proxies are also used for bypassing restrictions, which usually mean two things. First, they allow you to access blocked content – for example, when you want to watch Hulu outside the US, and second, proxies are used to scrape data secretly from sophisticated anti-bots.
How are your competitors using proxies to dwarf you?
Many businesses use proxies to achieve anonymity, enhance security, bypass restrictions, and collect data. These four use cases are often enough to secure a solid competitive edge. For instance, anonymity is of crucial importance for conducting competitor analysis.
Conversely, proxies block access to malicious sites and help identify malware.
Businesses handle a lot of sensitive data online, so most security officers decide to conceal their companies’ traffic with a proxy. As a way to prevent competitors and hackers from accessing their websites or devices, businesses use rotating IPs and private proxies.
Proxies are also needed for bypassing restrictions in price and brand monitoring, ad verification, and general market analysis. All these techniques help businesses think strategically and accelerate their growth – by basing their decisions on data collected using proxies.
For instance, proxies enable businesses to bypass geo blocking and research foreign markets.
Earlier, we’ve explained how proxies allow individuals and businesses to go around anti-bot technology and access websites that don’t want to be scrapped for data. That is, undoubtedly, one of the essential use cases for business proxies – and substantial competitive advantage.
Many businesses use proxies to control how their employees use the internet.
The practice of blocking access to specific websites is both restrictive and protective. On the one hand, it helps companies increase employee productivity daily. On the other hand, it prevents workers from jeopardizing security by accessing potentially dangerous websites.
Contrary to popular belief, proxies don’t make your internet connection slower. Well, low-quality free proxies do. This technology boosts loading speed and keeps your site from crashing by splitting your internet traffic across multiple servers and cashing regularly visited pages.
Whether your website earns you money directly or not, this is very important.
If your business belongs to one of these sectors, you should start using a proxy ASAP:
- Data mining
Most websites don’t like being at the opposite end of data mining, so they use cutting-edge technology to forbid scraping tools from accessing their data. Rotating and private proxies help these tools trick anti-bot tech into thinking the requests are coming from real IPs.
- Marketing research
The same goes for marketing research, which cannot succeed without quality data.
- Geo-targeting testing
Geo-targeting allows businesses to increase their sales by targeting geographically-specific audiences. But to test their geo-based strategies, marketing teams must be able to see their websites and ads just like the audiences from certain locations do. Again, a proxy can help.
- SEO tool development
SEO marketing requires in-depth competitor research, and you need proxies for this too.
Other business sectors already taking advantage of proxy servers are mobile app testing and private banking, just to name a few. In terms of security, we recommend using private proxies. You can never tell who could access your network when you’re sharing IPs. If you want to learn more about private proxies, read the full blog post here.
In today’s digital age, entire industries have migrated to the internet. Businesses that are looking to stay relevant must revolutionize or fail. Proxies have an important place in all this – being reliable in terms of security and an effective way to beat the competition.